Pro Logica

December 6, 2012

Scientism–the Religion of Science

Filed under: Philosophy of Science, Religion — Tags: , — Ron Toczek @ 3:52 pm

Not so very long ago an internet science site essentially posed this question in a contest format:  Of all the assumptions underlying the physical sciences, which one is the most dubious?  Since there were bound to be many answers, I imagined that the winner would be the one with the best argument.  I never did follow up to see what the winning entry was but have thought about it at times, coming up with good assumptions but absolutely no argument why those assumptions are dubious.  Take the ‘Big Bang’ concept in cosmology.  From a theoretical mathematicians perspective it certainly is an assumption but there is nothing dubious about it.  It does supply answers to questions and for many scientists it is nothing but a working hypothesis until something better comes along.  (Unfortunately, there are many who consider their belief in the ‘Big Bang’ to be more than belief.)  The same can be said of other assumptions masquerading as concepts such as evolution or the universal laws of natural physics.

Within the last month or two I have entertained an idea which, although not dubious, does play havoc with the really basic assumption of science, the scientific concept of the ‘real world’.  This concept represents an abstraction from the sense experiences of (all?) human consciences and is believed to be representable as a model within some complete abstract mathematical system that can be found by proper investigation–the so-called scientific method.  Aside from the explicit assumption in the last sentence, there are two even more basic and hidden assumptions which render that explicit assumption a necessary consequence.  First, humans are assumed to be incidental  to and, consequently, independent of the ‘real world’ ; and second, the principles of mathematical creation are embedded within this ‘real world’ and consequently also exist independently of human consciences.  As long as human consciences exist no proof is available and if humans do extinct themselves these assumptions disappear and cannot even have a meaningful formulation.

Being blunt, if the belief in God can be called a religion, so the belief in an independent ‘real world’ can also be called a religion.  An advantage to a belief in a Christian God introduces love and morals into the world.  What do you get with scientism?

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November 22, 2012

The Devil and the Catholic Church

Filed under: The Catholic Church — Tags: — Ron Toczek @ 2:56 pm

As noted by many commentators and pundits, secularism has outflanked traditional religion in the U.S. enhancing the number of deists, pagans, new ageists, agnostics and atheists in our country.  Added to this, the current agents from the culture of death and those promoting immoral sexual practices are further undermining traditional religion by claiming their views are justified by the concept of human dignity within traditional religion, itself.  Clearly nonsense, but believable within a secular framework of society.  If Charles Taylor is correct in his supposition–I have no reason not to believe it–the origin of secularism lies in the centuries before the Protestant Reformation and arose from the increased devotional attitude of the more pious churchgoers.  In this matter, Lucifer has been subtly influencing people to turn against the Christian God.  No doubt that he turned to this endeavor since his creation of Islam (where its god is the essence of Lucifer, himself) seemed to be coming to a standstill, although he has lately increased his scope of activity there.  The devil is certainly a master planner of long-term strategies and even if you don’t or can’t believe in an all-comprehensive evil trying to influence human activity, this trend is very clear.

Currently, the Church is engaging in a new program, ‘New Evangelization’, an attempt to convince fallen away former members to come back to the Church and also to convince others of the necessity of joining the Church.  Unfortunately this won’t work because there is too much cultural antipathy and false belief among those targeted to really ensure a truly faithful following.  The Church may attract more adherents but here, in America, the net effect will be just a larger, more fractionated Church.  This program may be more effective in Europe where the Church’s roots are deeper, but that remains to be seen.  The biggest obstacle to overcome will be the newest religion of ‘scientism’ (more about this in a later post) whose many atheistic scientists tout their beliefs against Christianity in a loudly vocal manner.  I suppose they don’t say much against Islam because of the fear of assassination but you can believe that they have as much antipathy if not more.  The ‘culture of death’, one of the opponents of the Church, is largely a side aspect of ‘scientism’, even though a good many scientists do reject its principles.  Another obstacle here in America is the over emphasis toward individualism in the goals of governing  even as the main political parties emphasize that their respective ideology for action needs to be conformative to the party itself, thus undermining their very political soul.

I would suggest, instead, that the Church should embark on a program of retrenchment:  First, by verbally proclaiming the self-excommunication of all professed Catholics who speak against the official teachings of the Church.  Yes, our God is a forgiving God and these self-excommunicatants must be given the chance to repent and re-enter the fold, but they simply must not be allowed to call themselves Catholics while spouting heresy within and outside the Church.  This very much includes politicians who vote on or support measures specifically legalizing actions expressly banned by the Church.  There is no intention of stifling all debate among Church members since there can be other complicating factors (circumstances) or even other moral considerations (justice) which need to be taken account of in any given situation.  Second, disengage all Church clerical activity from civil authority so that no same-sex or polygamous marriages or anything sinful will ever be forced within the Catholic community.  Third, establish an educational system which will be mandatory for each child within the Church community and which emphasizes the differences between the Church’s teachings and the outside civil community while still providing a proficiency of secular knowledge.  This educational system must, of necessity, be totally independent from any governmental supervision.

Finally, a recommendation, not considered as a retrenchment but as an expansion, which calls for each parish to become a combined faith and social community, a very necessary action required by the last two recommendations.  Many parishioners consider themselves a part of the Catholic faith community but have nothing to do with socializing among the other parishioners.  The disconnect caused by this lack of social cohesion is one problem evangelization will never overcome.  The Church needs a little more than faith alone in order to properly achieve its mission here on earth.  This social cohesion also needs to go much further than mere socializing.  Proclaiming social justice means nothing if it is not practiced among the faithful; the Church needs to be regarded by outsiders in a favorable light even as other outsiders revile it.  During Roman times, I am led to believe, a criticism of the Church was, “See how these people love one another.”; I’m also sure the comment doesn’t refer to sex.  We must still be a unitary faith community on all three levels: parish, diocese and world-wide and we must allow for our members to interact with the outside community but each parish must practice the virtue of charity to its own members, unremittingly.

All these proposals stem from the Nicene Creed wherein Catholics are required to believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  Certainly the world has many people who claim Catholicity while differing vociferously with Apostolic teachings–not an example of Oneness–and neither is the support of temptations to sin, a big problem for politicians.  Marriages and Baptisms have become family private affairs and the secular world is constantly providing more distractions, all contributing to less social cohesion.  Pastors need to do more than get their parishioners to come to church on Sundays or, equivalently, Saturdays.  The Catholic Church does need to become one again.

September 23, 2010

Islam: Religion or Government?

Filed under: Religion — Tags: , , — Ron Toczek @ 3:38 pm

It is safe to say that Islam with its zealous fundamental fanatics has been a rather popular topic in the U. S. news media since 9/11 although it started before with the terrorist activities of a group called Al Qaeda.  Prior to the Al Qaeda bombings most U. S. citizens were only aware that Islam was a foreign religion practiced in some foreign lands.  Certainly, this has now changed.  Besides a gamut of news articles, new books have been published which present both unfavorable and favorable views of the religion.  These have essentially rehashed much older material on the topic; they may touch on the newer aspects of fanaticism; and they emphasize those aspects which illustrate their specific prejudices.

Christians with an eye on history know the enmity of Islam toward Christianity.  One author, I don’t remember who, claimed that Islam was responsible for the murder of more Christians than people killed in all European wars since the Crusades including both World Wars.  Not sure if these are his exact words but it does render the approximate magnitude of the killing, and really there is no nice way to put it.  Even today a World Net Daily article claimed that 170 Christians are martyred every single day, the vast majority by Muslims.  These murders are most always justified by referencing passages from the Koran, the Muslim holy book.

On to the reasons for this post.  We begin with 9/11, a fanatical muslim terrorist attack, followed by an announcement by a Muslim cleric to build a  mosque and Muslim neighborhood center near “ground zero’, a place of especial memory, followed by an announcement by a Protestant minister to hold a public burning of at least one Koran, followed by a muslim leader threatening to burn an American flag.

9/11 was a tragic event in the history of the United States of America and will always remain so and it must be remembered that its perpetrators were Islamic fanatics.  A notable reaction to this event was its joyful celebration by much of the Muslim community worldwide.  The above Muslim cleric, not having any wherewithal for constructing a mosque and community center, nevertheless, announced this intention and some people wondered what his motive could be.  Observing the past history of Islamic conquests  and noting that a mosque was usually built over a sacred site (usually a Catholic Church or a Jewish Synagogue), primarily to denigrate the conquered people’s religion, these people assumed this to be the cleric’s motive and I can’t say that I blame them.  They also assumed that the cleric, knowing that this kind of project would never get permission to be built at the 9/11 site itself–which would be the ideal from an Islamic point of view, chose a site as close as possible to it.  The resulting media brouhaha has abated somewhat and there has been no decision whether to permit the project, at least I haven’t seen such yet.

Then comes this threat to burn Korans.  From an American perspective there is nothing wrong with this.  Muslims have been burning Bibles for thirteen hundred years and continue to do so; why not retaliate?  Some Muslims have claimed worse actions with Biblical pages.  The only problem with this threat is that there are too many fanatical muslims about and they would retaliate by martyring Christians in their midst and their muslim leaders would permit that.  Do not confuse the Islamic use of the word “martyr” with its Christian use;  the Islamic use is illegitimate.

On to the last straw–the muslim leader threatening to burn an American flag in response to the burning of a Koran.  A very appropriate response would be to threaten to burn a Christian Bible, but no, he threatens to burn an American flag, directly assailing our government and its constitution for not being Islamic.  While the burning of an American flag by an American citizen is usually considered a political statement and, as such, permitted, (I do take exception), an American flag when burned by a Muslim American citizen represents an act of treason showing allegiance to a foreign government.  We Americans must not ignore this threat and neither should any government that does not permit Islamic law.  Kenya does not realize the consequences of permitting sharia within its boundaries; it will either become an Islamic state or find itself engaged in an irreconcilable civil war, either event being detrimental to the liberty of its Citizens.  I am also curious as to what will happen in Sudan and I don’t think it will be nice.  The lessons of history have shown that the only way the west can defeat Islam is by bodily kicking the muslims out.

Now for a little anthropological musing.  When looking at the history of the ancient Middle East, one is struck by the number of bloodthirsty rulers.  The early Jews even had some if  the Biblical accounts are to be believed.  The god of choice for many of these rulers was an unforgiving war god and Islam has just elevated an unforgiving war god to a universal status.  Any person equating the God of Islam with the Christian God does not know anything about Islam.  This God of Islam is so opposed to Jesus Christ that he deserves to be called the Anti-Christ.

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